Firaq has used two words  in some  his Gazals that he wrote  . These words are Khastagi ( Brittleness ) and Munn-Chalan ( something close to haughtiness ) . Many writers who knew him, saw him and were friendly to him , commented that contrary to popular beliefs , Firaq was soft , tender and as transparent as Glass . That made him brittle as well.

Firaq was also a little puffed-up personality . Death of his children and a failed marriage made him lonely . It brought enormous pain in Firaq’s life And Firaq had no one close to him to share this grief .

Logon ki samajh mein aa na sakaa kuchh mujh ko bhi hai taajub sa

Sunn meri udaasi ka kaaran aey humdum bahut akela huun

( Firaq Gorakhpuri )

All these things apart , he had a very high opinion about his poetry and his style. And this opinion also extended to his English ,a language that he taught at Allahabad university. He is reported to have once said ,

“ Only three people in India know correct English .They are Dr S Radhakrishnan,Pandit Nehru and Firaq.

In fact he had said that only  two and half persons know correct English In India . Nehru, he had put in the half . This statement was later modified to Three.

What I say is supported by his one couplet as well.

Aaney  wali naslain tum par fakr kareingi Hum-asron

Jab inn ko Maaloom Yeh Hogaa tum ne Firaq ko dekhaa thaa

(The generations to come will envy you, compatriots,

When they will realize that you had seen Firaq.)

Like Faiz ,Firaq too has a passionate engagement with humanity at large . Due to his strong commitment to Marxism,quite often, Faiz comes up as a spokesperson of the downtrodden .

Firaq has nothing to do with Marxism . But then he is equally enchanting when he talks about people in night long wait for some one to turn up or about people managing their existence in suffering , pain , loneliness and separation . A sample of Firaq’s style to substantiate my point of view could be .

Zabt Keejiye to dil hai angaara

Aur Agar Roiiye to paaani hai

( Firaq Gorakhpuri )

Raat aadhi se Ziyaada gayee Thhii Saara aalum sotaa Thhaa

Naam Teraa Le le kar Koyee Dard ka maara Rotaa Thhaa……

Taaray Aksar Doob Chalay Thhay , Raat ke ronay vaalon ko

Aanay Lagii Thhi Neend sii Kuchh Duniyaa mein savera Hotaa Thhaa….

Uss ke aansoo Kis ne Dekhe Uss ki Aahein Kis ne sunii

Chaman Chaman Thhaa Husn Bhi Lekin Dariyaa Dariyaa Rotaa Thhaa 

( Firaq Gorakhpuri )

Ab Aksar Chupp Chupp se rahain hain

Yuun Hi Kabhuu Lub Kholain Hain…

Pehlay “Firaq” Ko Dekha Hotaa

Ab To Bahut Kam Bolay Hain…

Gham Ka fasaana sunanay vaalon

Aakhir e Shab aaraam karo,

Kal Yeh Kahaani Phir Chhedeingay

Hum Bhi Zaraa Ab So Le hain…

( Firaq Gorakhpuri )

Raghupati Sahai “Firaq “ Gorakhpuri was an excellent conversationalist. He could speak extempore for hours on Dante , Kierkegaard , Shakespeare , Tulsi Das ,Kabir , Tagore , Ghalib , Kalidas , Rumi or Hafiz and then switch over to weird topics like variety of snakes and frogs in Indian Jungles . His personal cook , Gardner , Washer Man , Hair cutter and Tailor had to listen to his ideas on issues that fell under their jurisdiction . Sometimes he could be seen giving long lectures to his cook as to How he should cook “Baingan Ka Burthhaa “. His Dhobi was regularly counseled about the technique of ironing different clothes or washing these on Ganga Ghaat at Allahabad .

Firaq was known for his direct and unwrapped views . To progressive writers , who were mostly influenced by communist ideology , Firaq once said ,

“ You must also be conscious of present possibilities and the bright hopes that it throws up for world around us . Do not get trapped into the question of believing or Not believing in God. Accept all the wisdom that was passed on to us by Rig Veda, Tennyson , Tolstoy, Tagore , Ghalib and many more . Without consciousness of this Grand heritage , No Progressive literature can be created .”

It was Firaq who had recommended the name of Josh Malihabaadi as editor of Urdu Magazine AAJKAL published by Government of India . Firaq was made chairman of the appointment committee by Pandit Jawahar lal Nehru .When some Bureaucrats objected to this appointment , Firaq told Pandit ji

“ What do these Bengali , Gujrati and Madrasi officers know about Urdu . If their views were also to be taken into account , what need arose to bring me as the Chairman of the appointment committee.”

Pandti Ji had to abide by Firaq’s recommendations .

Mehboob woh ke sar se qadam tak khuloos ho,

Aashiq vahii ke husn se kuchh badgumaan bhi ho..

    (Firaq Gorakhpuri )

I am tempted to agree with firaq that any person under the sun can give unending discourse on Literature ,Art , Morality and Religion. The listener is equally tempted to peep into the personality of the orator , analyze and evaluate him under the scanner of self practice . Mere oration does not make any person Great . Firaq informs …

Aadami ka Aadami honaa nahin Aasaan Firaq ,

Ilm o Fun Ikhlaaq o Mazhab Jis se Chaaho Poochh Lo …

( Firaq Gorakhpuri )

Firaq believed that Death is approachable and touchable . For him , there is some positivity about Death .This positivity he finds missing in Existence that slays man day in and day out .  According to Firaq ,this demon of existence has no cure . It is not reachable or touchable.I quote Firaq.

Maut Ka Bhi Ilaaj Ho Shaayad

Zindagi ka Koyee Ilaaj nahin…

( Firaq Gorakhpuri )

 Aaj Rag Rag Mein Jaan Daurr gayee

Maut ne zindagi ko Chheirr Diyaa

( Firaq Gorakhpuri )

Maut ke bhi Urray hain hosh Aksar

Zindagi ke sharaab-Khaanon mein.

Hum ussi zindagi ke dhar pe hain

Maut hai jis ke Paasbaanon mein

( Firaq Gorakhpuri )

Autar Mota is a Blogger  , Translator and writes in English , Urdu , Kashmiri and Hindi. His write-ups have appeared in many national magazines and journals.